WEEK 07, 12-18.02.1996

A French tourist died and another was wounded by the explosion of a mine in Mauritania near of its border with the Western Sahara in the region of Nouadhibou. The victim was participating to a group of cars who travelled from Dakhla (occupied Western Sahara) to Nouadhibou (Mauritania). This incident remembers the great danger of travelling in this region because the severe landmine problem resulting of the war between Morocco and the Polisario Front. The mine number is estimated to more than 10'000 ("Hidden Killers", United States Department of State, 1993, which mentions as mine-types: AP anti-personal mines, AT anti-tank mines, cluster bomb mines from Spain (SB-33 AP, SB-81 AT), Italy (SB-MV AT), as well as mines of Russian, French and US origin).
According to another source, the German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau of 23.01.95, there may be 1 to 2 millions of mines in the soil of Western Sahara.

Sahrawi Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr. Malainine Saddik, reiterated the will of the Polisario Front to cooperate with the U.N. and the European Union in carrying out the peace plan in the Western Sahara on the basis of direct dialogue between Morocco and the Polisario Front. Mr. Saddik stays in Italy for an official visit , he met the Foreign Minister and officials of the political parties. He urged the European Union (now under the presidency of Italy) to play its role in the implementation of the peace plan and the opening of direct dialogue between Morocco and the SADR.

South Africa: Alfred Nzo in Tunis
Under this title the weekly newspaper "Jeune Afrique" reveals a secret visit of the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs on February 6th in Tunis. He went for talks with the Tunesian Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning bilateral problems but also the Maghreb.
According to this newspaper Mr Nzo reached Tunis on February 6th in the afternoon and left next morning. The journalist does not mention that this visit took place between a visit in Algiers and the visit in the Sahrawi camps, where Mr Nzo stayed 5 and 6th February and met the President of SADR Mr. Abdelaziz.
According to the same source, South Africa was present at a secret meeting between Moroccan and Sahrawi representants in Lisboa last summer.


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